Wednesday, July 20, 2016

One

Sometimes it only takes one...

- person to believe in you

- leader to give you a chance

- voice to stand up to bigotry

- glance held for an extra moment

- kind word to change the course of someone's day

- act of courage

- chance encounter that changes...

...everything.

How About You

Today, you should be the one.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Master of Puppets

“There are those whose primary ability is to spin wheels of manipulation. It is their second skin and without these spinning wheels, they simply do not know how to function. They are like toys on wheels of manipulation and control. If you remove one of the wheels, they'll never be able to feel secure, be whole.” 
C. Joybell C.

Leadership Facade
It's sad when you think about it. The negative energy that so many put into chasing personal glory instead of collaborating with the team-driven modern world of work, often results in damaged relationships and poor outcomes.

They may hide behind the label of leader, but in fact they are not even close.

Seriously, are there any roles left in our organizations that are truly at the individual contributor level anymore?

Hidden Agenda
What is their real agenda? Is it a passion for the mission of the organization? Is it the pressure of bringing people together to ensure deadlines are met? Or, is it a self-absorbed path that only serves to fuel their own misguided career aspirations?

Sadly, their agendas are hidden to no one but themselves. The negative impact of their behavior, their lack of personal accountability, and their almost laughable attempt to position themselves as a dynamic leader drives a wedge between themselves and their colleagues.




How About You
Who is it in your workplace that tries to play the role of puppet master? Maybe it's time someone told them the only thing they are manipulating is their own credibility.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Processing Change Requires One Thing

When I'm involved in major organizational changes I invest a lot of energy to get the messaging right. Key people are consulted, potential fallout is examined and controlled for as much as possible, and endless versions of "the message" are scrutinized to ensure nothing is overlooked.

This Is Important
The effort to get it right is something that I take very seriously, and I expect those on the receiving end of the message to appreciate and understand those decisions.

Except...as with all major organizational changes...I've had lots of time to process the impact and am now "ready" for it to be implemented. But that doesn't mean the hundreds or thousands of employees who are hearing about the changes for the first time are as ready as I am.

Yet, for some reason leaders are often frustrated when "the staff" don't immediately "get on board" with the changes being announced.

Are you kidding me?

It's Actually Not About You
How long does it take for us to "wrap our heads around the changes that must be made?" 

We struggle, argue, throw little hissy fits, and eventually come to an understanding that hard decisions sometimes must be made.

The one thing absolutely necessary to process change is time.

Time.

When our arrogance gets the better of us...as if every word that comes from our mouths is like the Emperor addressing the masses...we have failed.

When we expect the team to simply accept with a positive attitude and continue doing our bidding without thinking, asking questions, and fully understanding...we have failed.

When we are annoyed that the team is not giving us positive reinforcement to make us feel better about the changes we're implementing...we have failed.

How About You
We have one job...to lead effectively. Falling into the trap of our own cult of personality as the absolute truth is nothing short of a disaster. 

Give your team members a chance to understand, ask questions, and wrap their heads around the change that you've given yourself a chance to fully understand. They deserve the time you gave yourself, right?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

You Can Be A Powerhouse

...you can feel the energy in the room change when they come in...they bring something special that is hard to describe; yet, every one on the team wants to be around them...I want to be that person too...

Success

It's a funny thing that happens to people when they achieve a level of success that they perhaps only dreamt of earlier in their careers. All of the self-talk of "how they would do things differently" suddenly becomes real.

Now they have to back up those words with action. There is often a collective expectation that simply because one person has arrived that everything will be different.


Sometimes, one person can shift an entire culture...


Leveraging Power

I am a strong believer in bringing energy to my work. Acting like you really love what you are doing is essential for leaders. Am I right?

How many of us have listened to leaders complain, launch into king-sized eye rolls, and forever gripe about something?

Guess what? No one wants to work for that miserable soul.

The opportunity then, is to take advantage of the power we have to spread energy and enthusiasm across our organizations. It has to be consistent, sustained and intentional every day. 

It must become a mantra that moves from your task list, to your "how I lead" style of living.

How About You
Would you like to be considered the person that is always "on" and ready to attack the day? 


To me, there is no other option. Why in the world would I want to sit and watch while someone else dictates the culture of my organization?

Bring the energy!


I'd love to hear from you

No Excuses.

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Pass the Tchotchkes ...I'm Developing A Wellness Plan

I'm a big fan of wellness programs. As a long time HR-guy I'm sure you're not surprised. If done well, they can impact the health plan spend for the organization. After all, the real goal of any wellness plan is to spend less money on the company sponsored health plan.

Let me say that again...

...the real goal of any wellness program is to spend less money on the company sponsored health plan...

Fitness Matters
I am passionate about fitness. My own...my family's...and my colleagues. Just take a look around you today and you will see the obesity epidemic raging across the workplace. It's as if our definition of "fit" has changed, and we accept a new normal.

That's not right.

The risks of obesity have devastating effects on health, life, and yes, health care costs. Yet for some reason we have confused the primary goal of wellness programs as being...well...wellness.

One of the outcomes of an effective program is improved health, and might even include a new passion for personal fitness (oh, if that were true all the time!) But in reality, fitness actually is a secondary goal.


Accountability is Required
Healthcare costs are such a massive amount of each state as well as the Federal budget that we almost accept that as normal too. 

Just from my own experience as a Vice President of Human Resources for a mid-sized hospital, I oversaw a rapidly increasing health plan expense line that seemed to have no end in sight. One of the approaches to flatten that cost curve was to implement a wellness program...

...that held employees accountable, and rewarded them for their verifiable results.

No self-reported fitness.
No questionnaires that simply give points toward a company logo stress ball.
No trust...only verifiable results (think fitness tracker, doctor visits, etc.)

Sorry all, but without hard core accountability, your wellness program is a gigantic waste of money that not one executive will support.

Ever.


How About You
Are you considering implementing a wellness initiative in your organization? If so, make sure it is more than just a feel good program that promotes "a healthy lifestyle." No one suddenly "gets healthy'" because their employer rolls out a program with no accountability.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Finding Freedom

What's holding you back from doing what you really want? Who or what is standing in your way?

Money? 
Status? 
Responsibilities? 
Comfortable routines?

Maybe it's time to...
- try something new
- take a risk
- stop accepting that things will always "happen" to you
- consider a fresh start 
- quit your job
- start writing
- stop playing politics
- follow your crazy dreams
- tell the naysayers and loud mouths to shut the hell up
- stop being a door mat 
- be fearless
- stop making excuses and live your own life for a change

Maybe it's time to find your freedom.



I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Snark is Not a Leadership Skill

Snark - "Biting, cruel humor or wit, commonly used to attack someone or something."

Snark and Credibility
I'll be honest with you. I love jokes...not only playing them on people, but also being on the receiving end of a good prank. Good ones use a combination of fun, creativity and a clear signal that the balance between humor and cruelty will never crossed.

Quite honestly I think they can show the human side of leadership, particularly if we demonstrate that we don't mind being on the receiving end of a well-intended and harmless prank. I would much rather have the team feel comfortable teasing me vs. them worrying if my teasing has some sort of underlying message (even though it never does.)

Never lose an opportunity to show the "real you" with your team.

Snark and Losing All Respect
The flip side of course is when the fun morphs into simple cruelty. We've all made mistakes and crossed the line, but that's not what I'm talking about. 

The decision to brand oneself as the one who always takes things a little too far is for stand-up comedians.

It is never a legitimate strategy for leaders.

Ever.

Candidly the underlying issues that seem to drive these behaviors are typically based on low self-esteem and some sort of inferiority complex. 

I've seen it many times in my career. It has nothing to do with how bright or accomplished the aggressor is; in fact many are quite good at their jobs.

Sadly though, they allow their insecurities to shine brightly as they use snark as a weapon.

How About You
Which leadership style have you chosen? Do you look for opportunities to show that you are human along with the rest of your team? Or, is your self-talk machine blaring so loudly you don't realize you are inadvertently hurting those around you?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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